Horses To Follow » Secret Tune

Secret Tune

There was no gallop on early in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Newbury on Saturday, with the result that at least six of the eight runners were still in with a chance going to the second last. The winner Secret Tune looked to get a little outpaced initially when they began to go for home on landing over the third last flight, the first in the home straight, a mistake at that flight not aiding his cause. He was also a little slow over the second last, but showed an impressive turn of foot between the last two flights to join the leaders on the near side as they rose to the last. Once he landed over the last, however, his speed took him clear of his rivals, and he careered away to win by an ever-extending three lengths.

Secret Tune was a really decent horse on the flat – he finished third behind subsequent St Leger runner-up Mahler in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, earning a rating of 95 – and he may still be under-rated over hurdles. He won at Chepstow on his debut, finished behind Dee Ee Williams at Ascot in November when trainer Tom George’s horses were not in form, and you can easily forgive his last two runs before Saturday as they were both on unsuitably soft ground. His run on Saturday was his only other run over hurdles.

Because he was a stayer on the flat, there is every chance that Secret Tune will improve again for stepping up to two and a half miles, as his breeding suggests (he is by Generous out of a Quest For Fame mare), but the speed that he showed on Saturday will be a potent weapon over any distance. He will certainly be raised a little from his current mark of 117 for that performance, but he could still remain on a winning mark. He loves fast ground and he is one to have on your side wherever he goes next.

© The Irish Field, 7th March, 2009